The FOH PRO Stage
10014 81 Ave,
Morningside Road is described by its creators, Mhairi Berg and Simon Abbott, as a new Celtic musical about the pursuit of truth. But it could also be called a love letter from granddaughter (Berg as girl/Elaine) to grandmother, St. Albert's Maureen Rooney (Granny), and featuring Brennan Campbell (Lad). As the girl seeks advice from her Granny, who shares memories of growing up in Scotland, the stories alter in the face of the elders' dementia, leaving the girl questioning what is real in her life.
This is a beauty of a play; an impressive musical effort directed by Sarah Dowling, with Simon Abbott as music director (on piano), and Viktoria Grynenko (violin). Playwright Berg is radiant as an earnest granddaughter and alternately her own grandmother (in memory sequences); with expressive, beautiful vocals and a lovely stage presence. Campbell's Lad is strong too, a young man at the start of his life in wartime Scotland. The pair embody young love with pretty harmonies and playful teasing--it's a nice contrast to present time moments with Granny, where tensions set in as memories alter and fade.
Rooney is great as Granny, effectively showing the fear and frustration of someone losing touch, holding on to fleeting memories. The musical moments with all three performers are strong and true. What a lovely, lovely production.